Chances are, if you loved Amophis' last release Eclipse, then you will have similar feelings towards their latest Silent Waters, which picks up exactly where that one left off. Eclipse made it to many Best Of 2006 lists here at SoT, and Silent Waters is bound to do the same. Label their music what you will, the Finnish legends throw plenty of melodic death metal, prog, gothic metal, psychedelia, and power metal at the listener, and do it convincingly. Tomi Joutsen is also coming into his own as the 'voice' of Amorphis. If his performance on Eclipse didn't totally sell you on that, then give him a try here.
As the last few albums have really shown, this band really knows how to write some catchy melodies and house them within progressive metal arrangements. "Weaving the Incantation" and "A Servant" contain addicting hooks, driven home by Tomi's great clean vocals and awesome growls, and the hard rocking "Towards and Against" is simply marvelous and memorable, complete with layered guitar work from Tomi Koivusaari & Esa Holopainen, as well as Santeri Kallio's symphonic keyboard textures. Similar methods bring about more winners on the title track as well as the gorgeous "I Of Crimson Blood", the latter featuring Kallio's best keyboard playing on the album. The mournful "Her Alone" is a passionate gothic tinged number containing an emotional vocal from Joutsen, while the folky "Enigma" breaks up the album a bit and offers up melodic choir styled vocals, acoustic guitars, mandolins, and heaping amounts of keyboards (Korpiklaani anyone?). "Shamen" again brings some folk elements to the fore, but mixes it with crushing progressive metal riffs, majestic harmony guitar lines, bubbling synths, and soaring vocals. Death metal growls return on "The White Swan", a truly heavy yet breathtaking number that sees Tomi Joutsen again showing off all his vocal personalities. The album ends on a poignant note with "Black River", a sorrowful yet melodic number steeped in piano, organ, wah-wah guitars, and powerful rhythms.
Silent Waters is simply a wonderful release from Amorphis. Not every band can combine lush melodies with extreme metal ferocity and prog rock sophistication & experimentalism like these lads from Finland have been able to do for many years. Toss in a charming cover painting from Travis Smith, and you have a new release that's going to be hard to pass up if you are a loyal metal fan.
01. Weaving The Incantation
02. A Servant
03. Silent Waters
04. Towards And Against
05. I Of Crimson Blood
06. Her Alone
09. The White Swan
10. Black River
11. Sign (bonus track on digipak)